Class of 1971 Spring 2018 Letter

Spring 2018

Dear Classmate,

As I get ready to spend some time in Arizona and Southern California, I’m reflecting on my second winter in St. Paul and my first winter at Luther. Here in St. Paul all things winter are celebrated with the Winter Carnival, complete with parades, royalty, myths, legends, and activities everywhere from January 11-February 18. I realized it was a serious event when I visited Rice Park to watch cranes and workers construct an ice palace out of blocks of ice harvested 120 miles away, at a cost of about $800,000. 

Fifty years ago, this Southern California 18-year-old began his slow appreciation of winter at Luther College. It was painful at first, but it grew on me, and gradually I began to love dark branches on white fields of snow, soft snowflakes, warm clothing, and drives through the countryside with a full moon reflecting on new snow. I remember being able to shoe skate from Ylvisaker to the Union on the icy sidewalk and slide down the Field House cliff on cafeteria trays. I was on a first name basis with the men who came out to start my car during the coldest days (thank you Automobile Club), and on most cold days, the walk to and from the Union from Towers required a detour through Ylvisaker.

So, I do get celebrations of winter, but now I want some warmer, fresh air. 

My biannual class letters are in need of fresh material! Help me out here! Send me some memories of Luther that we didn’t get a chance to share at our 45-year reunion or some current news, and I’ll pass them along in the next letter - [email protected]

Here’s a new website I was introduced to recently if you’re interested in keeping up with lots of Luther news: From there you can navigate to everything else Luther. 

Decorah News

• Oneota Film Festival, April 19-22 (

• Nordic Fest, July 26-28 (

Also, did you know there are two breweries in Decorah? Toppling Goliath ( and Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. ( have made Decorah a beer tourism destination! 

Be sure to check out for area hotels, B&Bs, coffee shops, restaurants and shopping. Downtown Decorah is abuzz with activity!

Alumni Tours

Luther’s Alumni Office coordinates and/or promotes a number of travel tours each year. ( Upcoming tours in 2018 include Nordic Choir Companion Tour to Germany and Czechia (May-June 2018) and Sicily and Malta (October 2018). 

Alumni events

Many events are held throughout the region for alumni, parents, and friends of Luther College. Information can be found at Contact the Alumni Office at 563-387-1861 with questions about alumni events or tours. 

Alumni Ambassador Program

The Alumni Ambassador program ( is designed to connect Luther alumni with prospective students. Alumni Ambassadors play a direct role with the Admissions Office in recruiting the next generation of Luther students by referring students to the Admissions Office. Every student you refer will receive a $1,000 scholarship (in your name!) each year, for four years, should they decide to enroll at Luther. Your participation in our program will have a direct financial impact on a student’s experience at Luther.

For more information, contact Alyssa Ritter, asst. dir. of admissions at 563-387-1438. 

As always, thank you to all who made gifts to Luther in 2017! It’s a lasting legacy benefitting so many young ones with “virtual beanies” on their heads. You can make a gift today by using the attached form and the reusable envelope or by visiting 

May God bless you and yours,

Jim Hinrichs
1971 Class Agent
[email protected]m


Roger Bang is a consultant with First Insurance in Mason City, Iowa, a 96-year-old firm that he has been with for 39 years—20 as president. He retired from local political office after 20 years—16 as council member at-large and four as mayor. He never lost an election. His campaign committee was his spouse Peggy and himself; he never solicited campaign funds and never had a yard sign. Roger and Peggy are residents of the historically significant Melson House which you may google if interested. He tries to live a life of gratitude.

Donald Erickson is senior counsel at Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith, and Frederick, P.A. in Duluth, Minn.